I was eleven the first time it happened. I awoke on a typical chilly January morning, to do my morning chores and get ready for school. I fumbled around out of bed and flipped the switch on, not noticing the brand new stain on my sheets. It wasn’t until I went into the bathroom that I discovered that although I went to bed as a girl, I awoke as a brand new woman.
Embarrassed, I awoke my mom who helped me accommodate to the best of her ability. No amount of training and review in the health class could prepare me for this large step into adulthood. And boy, was I scared.
I felt alone in my class. Well not only because of my womanhood, but because at 5’0″ I towered over the other kids in class. I looked like I should have been in 6th or 7th grade. I was a fast developer as a child, which inadvertently caused me to not have many friends in school. I was good friends with the neighbor boy and his sister (who was a year younger than me). We all played Pokemon on the bus, but as soon as we hit school, he would be with “the dudes” and I’d wander the playground alone at recess. I didn’t mind being alone.
Onward to high school…
At this point I knew I was different. Different than an “average” girl. I started experiencing irregularity in my monthly visits…to the point where I’d experience this “curse” only a few times a year.
And I avoided the touchy subject with any given ounce of energy.
Senior year: I experience some abnormalities with hair growth. Which my lovely doctor pointed out, my face went blood red. She prescribed me with something (Spinon-something). It didn’t help really, so eventually I just stopped taking it.
College bound…the conditions worsened. I didn’t want to talk about them with anyone, not even my significant other at the time. I was embarrassed. I still AM embarrassed.
About a year ago I went to the doctor, again, but this time to get some actual blood work and testing done. It all came back great except my good cholesterol was a tad bit low and my testosterone levels were a tad bit high (than “normal”). Lovely. I got tested for PCOS, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, but to my dismay I was negative. I say dismay because now I don’t know what’s “wrong” with me. So I did a 3-month trial on Metformin (it’s a drug specifically designed for diabetics). The Metformin was great my first month, because after months of being “dry” the sweet, disgusting womanhood came back. And for 5 days I suffered immensely with a smile on my face. Because I thought that perhaps the drug would help me. It didn’t.
“Lord, what is wrong with me?” I cried out one night in my car. I had just gotten back from work. Tears began trickling down my face. By this point the Metformin was doing nothing for me except causing me to have the constant lightheaded-ness if I moved too fast, among other side effects.
Here I am, a year later, still wondering what’s “wrong” with me. I’m afraid for my future, because I am uncomfortable in the body I live in. I am afraid, because if, and I emphasize “if,” I find a guy, I have to have that awkward talk about children and my body hair. I have to explain to him that I may not be able to have children, and that I’m going to take an extra 5 minutes in the morning to get ready for the day because I have to make sure I look “woman enough” for everyone.
I know I’m not the only one in the world. I’m not the only woman in the world with the same issues. But sometimes, 90% of the time, I feel so completely, helplessly alone. That I’m not good enough
But here I am still pushing forward. And I think if I haven’t given up yet, that you shouldn’t either. I believe in you.